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January 12, 2015
by: Libby Schmitz

Kindergarten Celebrates Peace and Light

K EOL 1"When we understand each other we create peace, it's when we do not that we create war..."

Kindergarten students dove into the complexities of this statement during the first trimester as soon as the holiday season began. With each upcoming winter holiday the students learned a story, the history behind it, as well as facts about the people and their culture. As there are many holidays around this time of the year, Kindergarten only focuses on the few holidays that are celebrated among families in the school. These include Hmong New Year, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Yule, Los Posadas, Hanukkah and Christmas. These families became an excellent resource for the students in the weeks ahead, as they were presented with traditional stories, foods, music, dances, games, and clothing. Every week is a new cultural focus, and to reflect this, the classroom is transformed into a specific cultural environment for the days surrounding a holiday. If you were to poke your head into the classroom at any given time you might see a game of Dreidel, or maybe a race to catch the candy fallen from a smashed piñata, or perhaps even a lesson in how to dance the classical Bharatanatyam dance. However, to bring it all back together and to reach a commonality among the cultures, our two Kindergarten teachers stress the importance of peace and light in every single celebration. What starts as a celebration of how we are different, shifts to celebrating how we are actually all alike...

To demonstrate their learning, Kindergarten students were given the autonomy to choose which celebration they would like to present on as a final project. They were then split up into groups and together created a script of what they felt was most important to portray to families who may not know of their particular holiday. Students also chose what medium in which to present their work. Creativity was relevant as they chose to present their holidays through dance, drama, and demonstrating games. Habits of professionalism were also evident as the students all memorized their own scripts, recited the information to a crowd of families, and took questions afterwards. In light of the holidays, they ended all of their hard work with a celebration of food and family.

 

 

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